When I saw this on page 11A of yesterday’s Oklahoman, my first thought was “That couldn’t have been easy for her, using her teeth to catch a fish.”
The spiritual ancestor of this story, of course, is the famous Captain Spaulding, the African explorer, from the motion picture Animal Crackers (1930): “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.” I mean, we’re talking an interpretation with eighty-eight years to back it up, and besides, who’s gonna argue with the likes of Groucho Marx? Certainly not I. But no, that’s not what it meant at all:
An 11-year-old girl has quite the fish tale: A rare pacu with human-like teeth chomped down on the worm at the end of her line while she was fishing with her grandparents and brother in an Oklahoma lake.
But Kennedy Smith isn’t exaggerating when she describes her catch. Caddo County Game Warden Tyler Howser confirms that the fish was a pacu, a relative of the piranha that is native to South America and can grow up to 50 pounds (22 kilograms).
Kennedy’s fish weighed about 1 pound (half a kilogram), according to Howser and Kennedy’s grandmother Sandra Whaley.
Kennedy says she initially was “really excited” to have caught a fish Sunday in Fort Cobb Lake, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) southwest of Oklahoma City. She was shocked when the fish bit her grandmother, as Whaley removed the hook from its mouth.
How did this wee but scary beastie arrive here?
Howser said the fish was likely purchased as a pet and was released into the lake when it grew too large for the aquarium of the family that owned it.
This is how species become invasive, guys. Don’t do that.